Navajo Code Talker Samuel Tom Holiday dies at age 94

Posted at 10:40 AM, Jun 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-13 00:54:49-04

One of the last surviving Navajo Code Talkers has died in southern Utah.

The Navajo Nation says Samuel Tom Holiday died Monday evening surrounded by friends and family. He was 94.

Holiday was among hundreds of Navajos who used a code based on their native language to transmit messages in World War II. The Japanese never broke it.

Holiday spent his later days living at the Southern Utah Veterans Home in Ivins.

Fewer than 10 Code Talkers are believed to be alive today. The exact number is unknown because the program remained classified for several years following the war. 

Holiday will be buried in the Navajo community of Kayenta, Arizona, next to his wife.

The library at the Kayenta Middle School is named for Holiday.

Several other Code Talkers passed away last year in Arizona, including George B. Willie Sr., David Patterson and Teddy Draper Sr.